Chicago-to-Omaha rail study online open house ends Monday

May 21, 2012

Monday is the last day to participate in an online open house about the Chicago-to-Omaha passenger rail study.

The Iowa DOT has taken public comments on the rail study since February, and held public meetings throughout the state. It’s part of a five-step process that could lead to passenger rail travel through Iowa.

Amanda Martin, Freight and Passenger Policy Coordinator, says the next step is to review public and agency input. Once that’s complete, an environmental impact study will begin. Martin says public meetings will be held this fall on the draft EIS.

Martin says public input has been overwhelmingly positive. “So far we’ve gotten a lot of feedback through our first effort, which was mid-February to mid-April, and now we’re currently obtaining for our alternatives analysis report, which has a draft copy on the website, and so far there’s a very low amount of negative comments, right around four percent.”

The Iowa DOT received 287 comments last week through the online open house. The February-through-April effort resulted in more than 1,200 comments.

Agencies involved in the rail study have identified a route that follows I-80 as the most feasible alternative.